Goldman Criticizes Bitcoin, Facebook Rebrands Wallet

It has been an action-packed week in the cryptocurrency market, with some big companies leading new developments in the space. While the BTC price corrected some 10% earlier this week, the institutional interest for BTC seems to be on the rise. Let’s take a look at some of the big developments.

Goldman Sachs Denounces Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies As Asset Class

Earlier this week, Goldman Sachs conducted an investor call with its panel of experts discussing policies surrounding Bitcoin and Gold under the existing situation of the COVID-19 economic crisis.

While Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are usually treated as an asset class by some regulatory agencies, Goldman Sachs holds a different opinion.

Goldman experts said that unlike bonds, Bitcoin clearly lacks the inherent characteristics of having cash flow and the inability to generate returns with the global economic growth. The Wall Street banking giant cited Bitcoin’s volatile nature for reasons to not treat it as an asset class.

In its concluding statement, Goldman said that it doesn’t recommend investing in Bitcoin at a strategic or tactical level.

Bakkt’s Physically-Settled Bitcoin Futures Contracts Overtakes CME’s Cash-Settled For May Expiry

Interest for Bitcoin Futures contracts seems to be rising month after month. In an interesting development, Bakkt’s physically-settled Bitcoin Futures contracts saw higher open interest over CME’s cash-settled BTC futures.

It’s just eight months since Bakkt launched its Bitcoin Futures back in October 2019. Since Bakkt offers BTC Futures settlement in actual BTC tokens, it attracts more institutional clients rather than retail ones.

This clearly shows that the institutional demand for the Bakkt Bitcoin Futures is on the rise.

Facebook Renames Calibra Digital Wallet As NOVI

In a major rebranding effort, Facebook has decided to rename its Calibra Digital Wallet as NOVI. Note that the rebranding decision comes as Facebook wants to distance its digital wallet services from the Libra cryptocurrency.

Facebook’s chief of blockchain division David Marcus said: “We found the old name was a little too close to the name of the Libra payments network. So we’ve made an update to make sure there is clear differentiation and clarity. Novi will be just one of the wallets that will eventually be built on the Libra network”.

Facebook announced its Libra network and its native Libra cryptocurrency last year in June 2019. However, due to regulatory pressure, it decided to roll-back its Libra crypto plans. Still, it would continue to issue fiat-tied stablecoins through its Calibra digital wallet.

Facebook has said that its NOVI digital wallet will first support currencies like USD, GBP, and Euro. The wallet will facilitate instant global payments without any hidden fees. NOVI will be available as a standalone app and also integrated with platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Facebook has said that it is committed to providing world-class, affordable financial services, and take it further with NOVI. Facebook will launch the NOVI digital wallet along with the Libra network.

South Korea Plans To Introduce Crypto Taxes In 2021

South Korea’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has proposed amendments to the country’s existing taxation laws to include digital currencies. If the proposal is approved by the national assembly, South Korea will start imposing taxes on digital currency income and earnings starting in 2021.

Note that the proposal states peer-to-peer crypto transactions shall be exempted from taxes. Just like the securities laws, any loss-making transactions won’t also be subjected to the taxes.

Lawmakers In Louisiana Propose New Bill For Licensing Of Crypto Businesses

Louisiana’s House of Representatives has proposed a new bill that aims for clear regulatory infrastructure and directives for crypto businesses to operate legally within a state.

So far, crypto regulation has been a complex subject across the U.S., with different states dealing with them as per their own jurisdictions. At the national level, there’s still a lack of a concrete policy to deal with cryptocurrencies.

This bill aims to bring a legal framework and make it easy for crypto businesses to carry their operations. If Louisiana succeeds in making this bill a law, it will create a way ahead for other states to work on similar lines.

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